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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1976;9(1): 11-24.
A Prospective Study on Attitude of Professional Student toward Population Related Issues in Korea.
Kyung Sik Lee, Hwa Joong Kim
This study was a part of large scale of a prospective study on attitudes of professional students in medicine, nursing and teaching toward population related issues in Korea. The study was first conducted in May 1974 and then in May 1975 for the 1974 class cohot using a questionnaire consisted of attitude scales and other items developed by Lee. The purpose of study was two hold, namely, to determine the difference in students among specializations on one hand and between the first and second years in the 1974 class cohot regarding the subject matter. A one-way analysis of variance was used for attitude scale, and absolute and relative frequency were computed for the analysis of non-attitude scale items by employing Fishers' Ratio and Duncan's multiple range test at 5% level and chi square test at 5% level as significance tests. The hypothesis "students in health profession are more likely to have positive attitudes toward population related issues progressively as class year advances than students in teaching profession" was tested and the following results were obtained: 1) Nursing students were more likely to display favorable attitudes toward family planning than medical or teaching students although the class cohot showed slightly improved attitudes in the second year. 2) Respondents in general perceived national family planning program as a means of population control and this tendency was more true among nursing students as the class year advances than two other professional groups of students. Students in teaching profession appeared to perceive it more as a means to improve individual family welfare while health students were likely to see as to improve maternal and child health. This tendency was progressively improved as the class year advanced. 3) The majority of students regardless of their respective specializations believed that family planning program should be directed toward the improvement of individual family welfare. No progressive changes in the class cohot were observed. 4) About the plan to use contraceptives in future, no significant differences were observed among different specializations nor in different class years. However, the majority was confirmed to have a plan to use contraceptives in future. An increasing proportion of the undecided category was observed, as class year advanced among health students. 5) Students in health profession were found to be more favorable about "more leisure opportunities" as motive for limiting number of children whereas education students indicated the reasons as "facilitate ambitions" and "economic base". The progressive changes toward positive direction in both groups were observed as the class years advanced. 6) Attitudes toward induced abortions of the health student were observed to be positively related to class years while an inverse relationship was found in teaching students who showed much less favor in the subject matter than health students. This phenomenon may be due to the different exposure to learning environments unique to respective specializations. 7) Health students were found to have more favorable attitudes toward population education in general than the teaching students. The teaching students appeared to have changed more to the negative direction when they became the second year while no such development was observed in health students. The teaching students seemed to hold a very conservative position with regard to sex education on schools. 8) About the equality of sexes, the nursing group was found to be most favorable while the reverse was true in the teaching group. 9) About questions related to fertility values-the 10 percent of respondents regardless of specialization indicated that they would maintain their single status in future, however no change was observed in the second year. The desired number of children was found to be two by the majority of students in nursing, medicine and teaching in order of high proportion. No changes in a different class year were observed. The childless marriage was seen by nursing students as a problem more than other students, but a slight change in positive direction was found when the nursing students became the second year. In summing, as data supported in the above, students in health profession demonstrated more favorable attitudes toward population related issues than the teaching students were more conscious about the health aspect of population and family planning program while the teaching students gave more attention the socioeconomic aspect. The sex variable seemed to have operated in the item related to the equality of sexes. In conclusion, as data presented in the above, the hypothesis of this study was accepted except in the few items. It should be noted that the limitation of this study is the short duration of the observation in measuring the possible attitude changes. It should include curriculum analysis for the respective specializations in order to identify the area of curriculum impact on students in future study.
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